Businesses, as well as their travelling staff, can now 'double dip' to earn frequent flyer points on Emirates' Skywards rewards program.
The new Emirates Business Rewards scheme issues a traveller's company, which paid for the ticket, with the same number of points as the person taking the flight.
The points are equivalent to personal Skywards miles and can be used by the company to book award trips for any employee in their organisation.
"It’s a win-win situation" the airline says. "As your company earns rewards for its business travel, so do the individuals who do all the travelling."
The only catch is that qualifying trips must be booked directly on Emirates' website; flights arranged by travel agents or corporate travel managers don't count for the double dip. (Presumably, Emirates uses the commission it would have to pay to travel agents to fund the Business Rewards scheme).
Companies can enrol up to 80 of their staff in the scheme, and Emirates says it will consider raising the limit if there's sufficient demand.
Emirates is not the only airline offering this sort of double-dip deal.
British Airways has a similar scheme called On Business, which also issues points for businesses, though at a very different ratio to personal earning. For example, a Sydney-London fare only earns 480 points.
The equivalent reward redemption flight from Sydney-London requires 12,480 points, so staff would have to fly the sector 26 times for a business to get the equivalent reward flight.
BA has a promotion offering triple points for the first six sectors flown for newly joining companies.
Delta SkyBonus (previously called BizPerks) rewards companies for their employees' business travel on Delta or any of its eligible airline partner -- Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, and Alitalia.
Points can be redeemed on award travel, upgrades, Silver Medallion status in the SkyMiles program, Delta Sky Club passes and more.
American Airlines offers Business ExtrAA, which offers companies points on trips booked with AA or codeshare flights with British Airways, Iberia and Japan Airlines (JAL).
It's not a straight two-points-for-one-mile deal, though -- companies earn either one or two points per $10 spent on AA marketed fares depending on where the flight originates.
The rewards are remarkably cheap, though -- for example, 2,000 points for any domestic flight in the USA or Canada.
United offers Perks Plus for companies that spend a minimum of US$20,000 during a 12 month period on United, Lufthansa and United Express flights.
Like the other programs, it earns points in addition to individual travellers' membership of United’s Mileage Plus program and Lufthansa Miles & More.
What about Australian airlines?
At present, Australian airlines are all sticking to a traditional frequent flyer model of only rewarding individual travellers.
However, with Virgin Australia set to launch an entirely new frequent flyer program to appeal to the business travel sector, it's quite possible that it will be the first scheme to offer this type of reward.
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